Last Thursday night, I received a text message from Alyssa. She asked me if I would be available on Friday. I told her that I was going to spend the day shopping for John's birthday gifts, and then I asked her what she needed. She text'd me back and said that she may have to call me with some "sewing" questions.
After what I considered to be an excessive number of text messages, I concluded that Alyssa's sorority had what could only be termed as a Crafting Emergency! (Why do these kids not pick up the phone and actually call people? This multiple text thing does me in - I am slow as molasses when it comes to texting on my phone and it was like pulling teeth to get the following information - so what could have been discussed in ten minutes ended up taking a full hour of text messaging to get the full story).
Following is what I would call typical of how most teenagers work - this is the summation of 100 text messages and how the Chi Omega Crafting Emergency was handled:
And that only 1 person knew how to sew?
And they only had black thread.
Oh... and no scissors... NONE.
And fabric... they didn't think they had enough.
So keeping that in mind, here is how it went:
I am worn out. I can't tell you how much this project stressed me because I wanted to do right by these girls. My main goal was to guide them and direct them, but NOT to take over the project - it was their thing and I was only there to offer guidance. But these poor girls had no clue. And had I not thought to toss in my rotary cutter and self-healing mat, there is no way they would have had enough fabric. As it was, I figured out how to do away with a hem by using the selvage as the hem line. This was a good thing because it meant no hemming stitch, which was good due to the time crunch and their lack of sewing experience (and that ungodly looking black thread they used on the pastel fabrics).
I spent 5 hours unjamming machines, setting up, and directing stations. Without the stations, we would have been lost. But once I suggested "stations" they looked so relieved. They seriously had no idea where to begin and it became apparent that they were hoping that I could solve this problem for them. In the end, I had them set up the following stations and we were able to complete 17 skirts in five hours:
- cutting - one girl, since I only had one rotary cutter and they didn't have enough fabric
- side seams - two machines/two girls
- ironing the seams and making the casing for the elastic - two girls/two ironing boards because I thought to bring extra
- sewing the casing seams (this was a fiasco and the seams were very wobbly, but they were good enough) - two machines/two girls
- threading the elastic - one girl because of the measurement issue (matching skirt color to each girl's measurements)
- sewing the elastic together and closing the seams - me
- ironing the finished skirts and logging them into their tracking system - one girl (again, matching skirt color to girl's measurements)
Many years ago, my mother told me that parenting never ends. She said that it evolves and changes over the years, but that when all is said and done, a mom is a mom and the child will always turn to the mom in times of need, even when that child becomes an adult. A Crafting Emergency may not be a real life crisis, but in Alyssa's world, it was a crisis of epic proportions. I am so thankful that she is still child enough to want her mother's help when things go wrong. It was fun to be the hororary mother to an entire sorority during this crisis... even if it only meant sitting down at the sewing machine and helping them make 17 skirts.